Looking Through the Crystal Ball: Do Others Know What you Expect from Research Projects

Sally KELTY, Roberta Julian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do all members of a research team ‘expect’ the same deliverables? Do all members of a research team know exactly what other members of the team need from the project? Over the past decade there has been an increase in the number of projects accessing ‘what works’ in policing practice. Many projects are large collaborations between different police departments, justice agencies, and universities. Whether these interagency projects will be successful is based on two fundamentals: did the research produce quality outputs; and more importantly, did the outputs match what people needed and expected. We discuss the importance of understanding what police and other industry partners expect from projects they invest in. In this article, we use a large multidisciplinary research project involving two police forces, three universities, and a forensic science industry body as illustrative of how to measure and plan for differing research direction and outcome expectations. We suggest that to avoid disappointment, police practitioners voice their expectations and make explicit what they need to achieve. As expectations are rarely static, it makes sense to revisit over the life of the project the expectations industry partners have.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-417
Number of pages10
JournalPolicing (Oxford): a journal of policy and practice
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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